West Alabama Mental Health Center (WAMH) is a regional mental health center offering comprehensive outpatient services to adults struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Located in the Blackbelt area of West Alabama, West Alabama Mental Health Center serves residents in Choctaw, Greene, Hale, Marengo and Sumter counties.
Treatment and Staff
Located just off a main highway and situated between Bryan Whitfield Memorial hospital and a plethora of fast food eateries is WAMH’s two story white structure. Clients enter the facility on the ground level and check in with one of the receptionists. While substance abuse and co-occurring disorders are treated, there are several other mental health services offered at this facility, so clients are directed to the proper area. WAMH does not provide detox or residential programs but it does offer referrals.
The first step in treatment is an assessment with a licensed substance abuse counselor. Clients meet for at least four individual sessions before a treatment plan is prescribed. People who are on medication are referred to a psychiatrist for medication management.
Based off of these initial appointments, oftentimes the recommendation may be individual therapy for a few months. In the case of a client with co-occurring disorders, counselors suggest individual therapy for a few months before clients are reassessed to see if group therapy may be helpful. If group therapy does look like a viable option, clients can either be placed in the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) or the outpatient program. Those in IOP meet three days a week for three hours. Individual therapy is once a week and the remaining hours are spent in groups. Topics include addiction education, trauma therapy, relapse prevention, addressing triggers and, if appropriate, parenting. At least two groups per week are peer driven discussions. Typically IOP lasts for 12 weeks, but can be shorter or longer depending on the clients.
People in outpatient meet twice per week for a total of four hours. Clients meet for individual therapy on an as need basis. Group topics are similar to IOP with less frequency. Most of these groups are peer driven and focus on relapse prevention and triggers. Duration is typically eight weeks, depending on the client.
Group sizes vary, but are limited to 14. Licensed substance abuse counselors use CBT to facilitate both group and individual therapy sessions. Court ordered individuals are drug tested on a weekly basis.
WAMH offers a prevention program for adolescents who are presenting with early signs of substance abuse. After the initial assessment, participants are provided with a treatment plan that includes some combination of individual, family and group therapy. Treatment plans are devised on a case-by-case basis.
The Rehabilitation, Re-entry and Reunification (RRR) program is for adult males transitioning back into the community after incarceration, or for those who were court ordered. These individuals either attend IOP or outpatient, depending on the court order or assessment. Along with relapse prevention groups and counseling on dealing with triggers, these clients receive referrals for vocational training, anger management and reducing recidivism education.
West Alabama Mental Health looks like a good outpatient offering for people suffering from substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Though this is not a12-step based program, clients are encouraged to seek outside support either through AA, NA or their local congregation in order to supplement their treatment plans. The extra individual therapy used to determine how to place potential clients is a unique feature of this program and could work for someone who isn’t ready for a group setting.
West Alabama Mental Health Center
1215 S. Walnut Ave
Demopolis, AL 36723
West Alabama Mental Health Center Cost: Medicaid/private insurance. Reach West Alabama Mental Health Center by phone at (800) 239-2901. Find West Alabama Mental Health Center on Facebook
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